Free hits in cricket are meant to be just that: a free chance for a batsman to swing for a boundary without fear of getting out.
However, as Royal Challengers Bangalore found out in their loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, occasionally they're a recipe for disaster.
'LOSING THE PLOT': Cummins continues Smith's IPL misery
Bangalore's Moeen Ali was the victim of one of the rarest dismissals in Twenty20 cricket when he was run out off a free hit from just one ball faced.
It's the only way a batsman can get out on a free hit.
The truly bizarre incident saw Ali and batting partner AB de Villiers attempt what could only be described as a suicidal attempted run after the former hit the ball straight at Rashid Khan.
— Cricket News Page (@PageTrending) November 6, 2020
The Sunrisers spinner scooped up the ball and smashed the stumps with a pin-point throw, leaving Ali well short of the crease at the non-striker's end.
Commentators were in disbelief as the Bangalore allrounder trudged back to the pavilion in extraordinary circumstances.
“Don’t think I’ve ever seen it in my life,” former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa said in commentary.
Viewers were equally as shocked by the comically unfortunate dismissal.
To give away a wicket from a first ball free-hit has to be cruellest turn of fate for RCB. Moment of absolute madness from Moeen Ali.
And what a throw from Rashid Khan!
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) November 6, 2020
What sort of international players are they.. Soo irresponsible. One playing a loose shot when he is already well set. The other got run out on a free hit. Absolute waste.
— Keshav sharma (@Keshavs111) November 6, 2020
Hey Siri show me Moeen Ali in a nutshell ....... https://t.co/vzabADnEC8
— Rob Thorpe (@Thorpey55) November 6, 2020
Still can't get over Moeen Ali's run out though 🤣
He did a peak RCB out of nowhere. Who does that even 😂🤣😭
— S & S (@FakeRCBsWarrior) November 6, 2020
— amir hussain (@Iam_amir86) November 6, 2020
There are no outs on the free hit
moeen ali: pic.twitter.com/oXAYks9wyh
— Vikash (@vkpandit98) November 6, 2020
The England allrounder's misfortune was felt by the whole team as Bangalore came up comfortably short against Hyderabad.
David Warner was left saluting the quality of two Test captains, New Zealand's Kane Williamson and the West Indies' Jason Holder after they guided his Sunrisers Hyderabad side to within one victory of the IPL final.
Warner’s men one win away from final
After captain Warner had suffered a controversial dismissal as Sunrisers chased Royal Challengers Bangalore's 7-131, the experienced pair guided Hyderabad to a six-wicket win with two balls to spare thanks to an unbroken partnership of 65.
It left Warner thankful, particularly to Kiwi Williamson, whose unbeaten 50 off 44 balls he described as masterful.
"What a masterclass player he is," enthused Warner. "He's done it for years for New Zealand. We can't speak highly enough of the bloke.
"It was a bit close for my liking at the end but when you have a guy like Kane at the end, you back him."
Asked about his effusive praise for a New Zealander, Warner couldn't help but smile: "That's the last time I'll do it!"
Holder, who had also bowled beautifully, taking 3-25 including the vital early wicket of Bangalore captain Virat Kohli for six, ended up backing Williamson with an excellent 24 off 20 balls.
With nine needed off the last over, Holder struck back-to-back boundaries in the final Navdeep Saini over to seal the win.
"Jason is cooler than me! He's playing beautifully," smiled Williamson.
Hyderabad will now take on Delhi Capitals in what is effectively a semi-final on Sunday with the winners meeting defending champions Mumbai in Tuesday's final in Dubai.
Kohli sprang a surprise by opening their batting but the ploy did not work as the India captain gloved a rising Holder delivery.
The West Indies skipper has had an excellent tournament since replacing injured Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh as he also dismissed the other opener Devdutt Padikkal to jolt Bangalore.
Australia's limited-overs captain Aaron Finch made 32 and a 56 from de Villiers lent some respectability to their total.
De Villiers eventually lost his middle stump to T Natarajan just when Bangalore expected him to provide the late flourish.
Bangalore, one of the most decorated batting sides in the IPL, managed just one six, from Finch, in their innings.
Hyderabad wobbled early in their reply with Warner back in the hut after a run-a-ball 17, which came to an end when he was given out caught behind off Mohammed Siraj, somewhat contentiously, on review.
Bangalore's spin duo of Australian Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal restricted the Hyderabad batsmen but Williamson found the occasional boundary in his superbly-timed chase.
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